Monday Morning Thoughts: The Chickens Have Come Home on Our Roads

I was driving someone from out of the area a few weeks ago – a guest who was coming to Davis for the first time to speak at our event.  I’m driving down Covell and the van is literally bouncing on the road – which looks like it has been chewed up and laid back down.

“What’s wrong with the roads?” they asked, looking down trying to figure out why the ride was so uneven.

“We never really got money after the recession,” I tried to explain.

They looked incredulous.  Here we are in a nice, upper middle-class community with million-dollar homes and we can’t maintain our roads in a place where there is no snow and annual snow plows to chew things up.

If you want to understand how bad the roads are, drive on places like Covell or 5th Street, or Cowell or any other major thoroughfare in town where we have not in the last five years resurfaced the road.

Or if you want data to match your experience – the city has that too.

That’s right – roads are a problem statewide with an average PCI (pavement condition index) of 65.  That’s why the state is pumping in money to help solve that problem.  But Davis is worse than most.  In fact, as the chart above shows, Davis is worse than all of its neighbors – all of them.

How does that happen?

Dan Carson on Tuesday acknowledged that the city “got into this situation over many, many years and it will take some years to get out of this situation.”

He added, “Some of the work that we need to do to address these rather daunting numbers is just the things we’ve talked about, dealing with the city’s overall fiscal shortfalls, which we last
calculated at $8 million but know surely now is more than that.”

But we haven’t wanted to do that.  The city has created the funding for roads by carving it out of the general fund and now they are trying to do more.

I have had the experience of watching this unfold.  In 2009 and 2010, the Vanguard ran articles based on Bob Clarke’s presentation about the condition on roads to the council.  Those two articles drew no comments.

In 2011, I sat down with then-Mayor Joe Krovoza and Mayor Pro Tem Rochelle Swanson over lunch and walked them through the numbers.  That resulted in the council in 2011 putting $1 million into the budget for roads.

In 2013, Nichols Consulting re-evaluated the roads and found that the problem was not simply a $1 million a year problem, but a problem that was $100 million and could go much higher if the city didn’t act.

In 2014, while the council carved out $3 to $4 million for roads from the general fund budget, the council could not reach an agreement in either 2014 or 2016 to put a parcel tax on the ballot.  When they finally did in 2018, they put it concurrent with parks and failed to support the parcel tax with a robust campaign.  That left them at 57 percent support – short of the two-thirds needed for passage.

The council in my view had an opportunity to raise another $3 to $4 million by increasing the sales tax to 1.5 percent, but declined to consider that option.

I continue to note that the city council has been overly cautious in this regard. This year, despite polling numbers for the sales tax renewal in the 71 to 77 percent range for a measure that requires 50.1 percent of the vote, they refused to consider a half cent increase that could have generated another $3 to $4 million and closed that roads gap.

So where is the money going to come from?

Without an influx of capital, the road conditions are likely to continue to get worse over time.  They continue to get worse despite the $3 to $4 million a year investment by the council – that’s because we need at least $10 million and probably more.

As Rich Rifkin put it in his latest column, “in reality, our roadways are worse now than they were a little over a decade ago. And, despite new funding from the fuels tax, it is likely they will deteriorate more in the decade ahead.”

How bad? In 2009, the PCI was 71 for the city. At the time, that seemed subpar, but it now looks downright rosy. And it probably was not a true 71. When Nichols Consulting reevaluated the roads in 2012, they had fallen to 62. While that seems like a sharp drop in just a few years, the reality is that they evaluated the streets in a much more rigorous manner.

The roads went to 63 in 2015 but now are 57. Bike paths went from 64 in 2008 to 58 in 2012 to 52 in 2019.

As Mr. Rifkin points out in his column, “we are now on the low-end of fair and headed toward poor. We already have 80 streets or street segments that Nichols determined are in a ‘failed’ condition. Davis (57) is below the statewide average (65) and worse than all nearby cities.”

To fix this problem is going to be costly.

Staff notes, “In order to reach the target PCI values set by City Council in 2013 (68 for arterials, 65 for collectors, 60 for residential/local streets and 68 for bike/multi-use paths), the analyses indicates that the City needs to spend approximately $7.9 million per year on streets and $3.9 million per year on bike paths over the next 10 years.”

Nichols Consulting Engineers once again was selected by the city in 2019 to update the Pavement Management Program (PMP). The PMP’s goal is to achieve as close as possible to the target PCI values set by the council in 2013.

Staff warns that “these targets are not always achievable because transportation maintenance funding has been a growing challenge for communities across the country for many years. If the budget is too low, it may not be possible to maintain the entire pavement system to an average pavement condition, but only a portion of the system.”

It is good that the council is creating a subcommittee on this – too bad the 2009 council didn’t do that, or maybe we wouldn’t be here right now.  Can’t say the warnings were not there.  We just didn’t heed them.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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61 Comments

  1. Bill Marshall

    In 2009 and 2010, the Vanguard ran articles based on Bob Clarke’s presentation about the condition on roads to the council.  Those two articles drew no comments.

    Probably for those familiar with the situation, that was ~ 25 year old “news”…which consistently fell on “deaf ears”… PW engineering staff was sounding the alarm since about 1985 – frequently.  I was a part of the ‘alarm process’… after a period of ~25 years being ignored, why bother commenting…

    1. Matt Williams

      Bill is right, the history of staff advising both City Managers and Councils  about capital maintenance (not just Roads and Greenbelts, but also Buildings and Facilities, etc).

      Last week I sent the following public record e-mail to Council member Dan Carson (with copies to Lucas Frerichs, Elaine Roberts-Musser, and Bob Fung).

      Dan, Bob Leland’s Monday night Powerpoint from his FBC presentation Monday illuminated a disturbing trend, which I would like to discuss with you in the near future.  The milestones in that trend are as follows:

      The first data point comes in the Forecast chapter in the FY 2017-18 Budget (page 4-9), which reports that the “average annual shortfall in funding is $7.8 million.” Extending that over the 20-year period of the Budget forecast produces an aggregate shortfall total of $156 million.

      In the FY 2018-19 Budget (page 4-11) the 20-year Infrastructure unfunded jumped to $172 million, which averages $8.6 million per year over the 20-year forecast period.

      In the FY 2019-21 Budget (table on pages 4-20 and 4-21) the infrastructure unfunded jumped again to over $201 million, which averages $10 million per year over the 20-year forecast period.

      The table in the top right of slide 9 of Bob Leland’s presentation jumps that $201 million number up to $258 million

      That $258 million will rise again substantially based on last night’s Pavement Management Report presentation by Public Works/Nichols to Council on Tuesday.

      A quick review of those numbers produces a 3 and a half year journey from $156M to $172M to $201M to $258M to $???M.  That is both disturbing and a pretty clear example of what Alexis Madrigal recently labeled “Runaway Technical Debt” in an article in The Atlantic, which Elaine Roberts-Musser shared with the Utilities Commission meeting Wednesday.  The following is a link to the whole Madrigal article, and I have provided an excerpt in the image below https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/10/california-fires-and-pge-toxic-debt/600979/.

      As I said above, I would like to discuss this trend with you, and I imagine that Elaine might like to join us, as might Bob Fung.  I have copied both of them on this e-mail, as well as Lucas Frerichs who was at the Utilities Commission meeting when Elaine shared the Madrigal article with the Commission.

      I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

      Dan’s response (with copies to Lucas Frerichs, Elaine Roberts-Musser, Bob Fung, and FBC Chair Michelle Weiss) was as follows … more study/analysis.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the article, Matt.

      At the direction of council on Tuesday night, the council subcommittee on fiscal sustainability will be engaging with city staff and FBC on analyzing the numbers in the consultant report on roads and exploring actions to address the city’s funding gap for roads and bike paths.

      We have also been in discussions with Bob Leland and, we hope before too long, a new city Finance Director.

      These will be our next steps on this important issue.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Also, Don, the relative age of the pavement construction… growing cities, by definition, have higher average PCI’s.  A brand new road has a PCI of 100.  Skews the ‘average’…

      Also, another variable is whether a jurisdiction has a road crew, for early intervention.  Davis lost that, years ago.

      A fact of pavements is that early intervention is far more cost efficient, than actions taken when the ‘problems’ are evident to the general public.  The graphs shown in most discussions by professionals are “for real”.

      Many variables across agencies… polices/strategies as well as “funding”.

  2. Ron Glick

    At first glance the more pro-growth a community the better it’s roads. Davis and Yolo County are the most anti-growth jurisdictions on the chart and have the worst roads. This is a case where correlation and causation are related.

    The fallacy of Davis is that it thinks no growth means steady state when for its roads it means steady decline.

    1. Ron Oertel

      As Bill noted, new roads (which wouldn’t be “needed” were it not for the new development) skews the average.

      If you’re a fan of new roads (to serve new developments), then by all means support new development. 😉

      1. Ron Oertel

        Thanks, Bill.

        Conversely, if new development (infill or peripheral) is not paying its share (to account for additional “wear and tear” on ALL roads where traffic increases as a result), then funding for PCI will further decrease, proportionately.

        And, as traffic congestion increases, costs and impacts shift to individuals (e.g., in the form of lost time/productivity, frustration, wear-and-tear on vehicles, etc.).

         

        1. Ron Oertel

          (Actually, costs shift to individuals AND businesses – in the form of increased time/costs for deliveries, etc. Perhaps other costs that don’t immediately come to mind, as well.) I believe that congestion ultimately impacts/limits business productivity.

        2. Bill Marshall

          It doesn’t work that way, Ron O… new developments have long been required to ‘mitigate’ issues related to such things as increase of traffic (loads) exceeding design parameters.

          You clearly don’t understand pavement engineering nor pavement management… and I question, ethically, the justification for new development to ‘pay for the sins’ of the existing community…

          Twain (Clemens) wrote something to the effect of, “better to be silent, and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt”.

        3. Ron Oertel

          new developments have long been required to ‘mitigate’ issues related to such things as increase of traffic exceeding design parameters.

          That is factually incorrect.  In fact, the city does not require mitigation for traffic congestion that reaches a certain level (e.g., those intersections that are already-impacted beyond a certain point).

          EIR’s are chock-full of examples where increased traffic congestion (as a result of a proposed development) simply cannot be mitigated.  You already know this.

          There are examples of this RIGHT NOW, in Davis (e.g., the University Mall proposal).

          Are you purposefully trying to deceive?

        4. Bill Marshall

          And, as traffic congestion increases, costs and impacts shift to individuals

          Traffic ‘congestion’ has nothing to do with pavement condition/deterioration… again, your ‘lack of factual awareness’ is showing.  Or were you going ‘off-topic’ again?

           

        5. Ron Oertel

          Just pointing out where costs are “shifted to”, as a result of the advocacy on here.

          Are you going to answer the question regarding whether or not you were trying to deceive (while simultaneously insulting me), regarding mitigation of impacts?

          Also, what (exactly) is your source for your statement that I quoted? It does not appear anywhere else on this page, or in the article. Were you just making that up?

        6. Bill Marshall

          Are you purposefully trying to deceive?

          A canard, and a personal attack, methinks.

          I have earlier pointed out that ‘congestion’, and “pavement condition” (which is the topic at hand) are unrelated.

          Note I used the term ‘mitigation’ … note the quotes… beyond EIR mitigations, conditions may be imposed by CC (recommended by professional staff), even for projects not having an EIR… I know… I recommended them, got them approved, and oversaw them being carried out.

          So, you imply I deceive, lie…

          Well, are you trying to deceive/lie when you say

          That is factually incorrect.

          because, you are, indeed, ‘factually incorrect’… again…

          Again, calling me untruthful… but I lived it… for ~ 30 years… another unfounded untruthful ‘personal attack’ on your part.  I can provide documentation of my truthfulness… the research would cost someone $250/hr if someone asked me to do it… but I’ll give you a ‘special rate’… $1,000/hr… or you could do a PRA inquiry.  Your choice.

           

        7. Ron Oertel

          Bill:  ” . . .new developments have long been required to ‘mitigate’ issues related to such things as increase of traffic exceeding design parameters.”

          Again, this would be factually incorrect, regarding examples where it’s simply not required, or where it’s not possible.  (The vast majority of developments would fall into this category.)

          I’ve already provided an example “free of charge”. And yet, you made the misleading claim, and are unwilling (or more likely – unable) to back it up.

          Insults are not going to sidetrack me from pointing out misleading claims, no matter how many times you try.

        8. Ron Oertel

          As a side note, recent revisions to the CEQA process won’t even require consideration of “traffic exceeding design parameters” in the first place!

          “The California Natural Resources Agency has adopted new CEQA Guidelines that will leave behind level of service in favor of vehicle miles traveled.”

          Are you claiming that you (also) weren’t aware of this?

          https://www.californialandusedevelopmentlaw.com/2019/01/07/new-regulations-for-assessing-transportation-impacts-under-ceqa-finalized/

           

        9. Ron Oertel

          Here is what Bill said, David.  There is no mention of “relevance” in this statement. Bill is directly responding to the point brought up.

          Bill:  ” . . .new developments have long been required to ‘mitigate’ issues related to such things as increase of traffic exceeding design parameters.”

          It’s a misleading statement – proven to be incorrect in many instances.

  3. Tia Will

    Bill

    I have earlier pointed out that ‘congestion’, and “pavement condition” (which is the topic at hand) are unrelated. I have zero expertise in road maintenance. What I do have is a question about this assertion. “Congestion” is a reflection of how many vehicles use a given stretch of road. As such it would seem to me that higher numbers of users would lead to more rapid deterioration. “Pavement condition” is also a reflection of how many vehicles use a given stretch of road. It is hard for me to see how these two factors are completely unrelated. Can you explain?

    1. Bill Marshall

      Tia…

      “congestion” has to do with the capacity of a roadway at a given time, as to ‘flow’… such as ‘traffic jam’ or “gridlock” (examples of congestion)… all related to how long it takes you to go from point A to point B at a given time…

      “pavement condition” is affected by loads (particularly heavy loads), and particularly for concrete (PCC- portland cement concrete) roadways, heavy load repetitions… AC (asphalt concrete) roads a bit less, but AC roadways are also subject to oxidation of the asphaltic binder (think ‘cement’)… ironically AC roadways are less prone to oxidation when they are used… forgetting “loads”, AC pavement actually ‘benefits’ from ‘traffic’.

      Another determinant for AC/PCC pavements is cracking, other ways, that water can get ‘past them’, and enter the subgrade (underlying soils)… particularly clayey soils, and most particularly where there are ‘freeze cycles’ (not a particular issue in Davis, very important in cold climates.

      Tia, I could look and find on try to find you a good primer on pavement design, maintenance etc., on-line.  Over a 35 + year career, taking classes, reading, and experience (including talking to other experienced professionals) I learned a lot.  Kinda like you couldn’t explain to me all the factors in OB-GYN issues in 100 words or less.  But you took classes, read journals, and had practical experience, and the benefit of conversing with knowledgeable peers.  Not the same, but parallel.

      Hope I helped a bit, though…

       

       

        1. Bill Marshall

          You asked a legitimate question, in a polite way, and, as a professional, I owed you  polite information in return.

          Think we both modeled how exchanges on the VG could be…

  4. Ron Oertel

    Just wondering if anyone wants to discuss this issue in relation to proposed salary increases for teachers in an over-sized school district.  Who knows, maybe it’s good for another 142 comments, over the course of 3 days. 🙂

    1. Ron Oertel

      By the way, some of the worst roads seem to be outside of city limits (in the county).

      But, let’s be honest about the probable reason that David is presenting this (along with the article regarding teacher raises/schools – which appears to be his primary concern).

      It’s a pretense to create support for ARC.  Why not just jump right to the chase, and eliminate the preliminary exercises? We all know what’s coming in the Vanguard (repetitively), over the next several months. And, we all know the repetitive responses it will generate. (With the exception of the guy who is “banned” on here.)

      I’m sure that David is waiting with baited breath, to publish whatever optimistic numbers come out. (Too bad that the Vanguard has banned the primary guy who actually does his homework, regarding that.)

      1. David Greenwald

        ” But, let’s be honest about the probable reason that David is presenting this (along with the article regarding teacher raises/schools – which appears to be his primary concern). ”

        How about the fact that this just came before council last week?

        1. Ron Oertel

          You were focused on road conditions prior to that time.  Most likely, for the same reason that you’re focusing on them now. But now, you have a slightly improved “political weapon” at your disposal, in the form of this report.

          I believe that most of the articles you create have a political “agenda” behind them – including this one.  It’s pretty easy to see this, at this point. And, I’m pretty confident that I know the reason behind this one.

          And as soon as fiscal analysis is presented (next month, for a proposal that hasn’t even been fully defined), you’ll run with it.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Actually, it did exist in concept at that time – as did 2-3 other failed innovation center sites.  In the much-ballyhooed (“Studio 30”) or is it “Studio 54” report.  😉  (Either way, they’re ancient history.)

        2. David Greenwald

          Studio 30 report didn’t come out until 2012.  Wasn’t really tracking any of that until 2013. You’re trying too hard to make connections that don’t exist.

        3. Ron Oertel

          Somehow, the Vanguard’s editing system isn’t allowing me to finish my comments.

          In any case, if there was no mention of innovation center sites at the time of David’s 2010 article, then it would be true that he wasn’t advocating for them at that time. (The article did mention redevelopment money.)

          He is, now.  And, it appears to be the reason for this article, as well as the articles regarding school funding. I stand by that.

          If you doubt any of this, all you have to do is look at more recent history, as well as what will occur on this blog over the next few months.

        4. David Greenwald

          Maybe we should go full conspiracy mode here.  The council brought up the issue of roads this week to give me an excuse to write on them as pretext for the ARC.  (Never mind that I don’t believe I’ve ever believed the innovation center would generate the $10 million needed on an annual basis to fund roads and I’ve always advocated for a parcel tax as the solution to roads).

        5. Ron Oertel

          Again, you’ve been continuously presenting the innovation centers as a solution for (both) schools and roads.

          And, have been actively downplaying other solutions (e.g., witness the 242-comment school article.)

          1. Don Shor

            Man, the truth is out. David Greenwald and I met with Angelo Tsakopoulos and Buzz Oates in 1993 and worked the whole thing out. We’ll have to come up with a whole new strategy now. Good sleuthing, Ron!

        6. David Greenwald

          No.  You can’t fund schools with an innovation center.  And as I just explained the amount of money for roads is not going to be generated by an innovation center.  I have put it forward as a way to close the long term funding gap, but not as a solution to either roads or schools.

          I have other stuff to do.  Please stop this line.

        7. Ron Oertel

          You’ve also ignored unfunded liabilities that are occurring throughout the state, the impact of new roads (to serve new developments) on PCI, the concerns regarding the “Mace Mess”, etc.

          Again, your articles have a political agenda.  (Perhaps less so, back in 2010.)  You’ve acknowledged a change in your positions, as well.

          Are you stating that schools would get no funding from ARC? I don’t believe this is correct. (I’m referring to one-time funds, and/or ongoing funds.)

          When you put forth articles regarding ARC over the next few months, let’s see if you avoid discussing roads, schools, etc.

          Again, there’s an agenda behind this article.

        8. Ron Oertel

          But yes – thanks for pointing out the correct date of the Studio 30 report.  (I had “guessed” wrong, regarding the approximate date of that.)

          I suspect that I would have liked the Vanguard more, “back-in-the-day”. That’s a similar refrain that I’ve heard from others, as well.

          Difficult to imagine David working against Covell Village, today.

          I’m actually somewhat concerned about issues such as roads and city finances, as well. I just don’t like seeing them used as a pretense to support development. Nor have I seen a situation where that’s actually “worked”, in the long term.

        9. Ron Oertel

          Maybe so – it’s hard to tell from that one article, compared to the multitude of articles lately. The redevelopment money you discussed in that article is no longer available.

          My views regarding roads hasn’t changed, either.

          Regardless, your views on development have changed.  And, I still view your concern now as primarily related to your support for ARC.  That’s based upon what I’ve seen on here, over the past few years.

          1. David Greenwald

            I would argue that my view of the situation has changed.

            When I first got involved in the world of Davis politics, we had just come off two decades of rapid growth, we almost immediately headed into a real estate crunch and the great recession caused UC Davis to stop growing for five to ten years. So slowing down growth at that time made a lot of sense, there were whole years between 2008 and probably 2014 where development was a non-issue in Davis – it just wasn’t on the table. But while I think growth went too far and too fast leading up to Covell Village, the spigot was shut off too hard and now we need housing or this community is going to become very expensive and exclusive. I still favor Measure R. I still prefer infill to peripheral. I don’t think my overall views have changed that much, the situation has changed a lot however and the community as a whole has moved with that situation.

        10. Ron Oertel

          the great recession caused UC Davis to stop growing for five to ten years.

          I thought that UCD did grow during that time, but that housing on-campus wasn’t keeping up.

          One difference between me and you is that I don’t think that market-based solutions will lower the cost of housing.  Nor would I let that dictate decisions – regardless of the particular community. That’s a virtual recipe for ensuring the continuation of sprawl.

          Ultimately, market forces are broader than what occurs in a particular community.  They are not “islands onto themselves”.  In fact, demand for housing is a “manufactured” phenomenon – based upon availability of jobs, etc.

          Here’s an excellent article, which challenges assumptions regarding market-based solutions:

          https://48hills.org/2019/05/new-study-challenges-wieners-approach-to-housing/

          I’m not sure that the community has changed as much as you think.

        11. David Greenwald

          “ One difference between me and you is that I don’t think that market-based solutions will lower the cost of housing.”

          Partly agree – I don’t know that building more housing in Davis at the rate we are likely to do so will lower the cost of housing.  I do know that further constraining the supply of housing will raise the cost of housing.

        12. Ron Oertel

           I do know that further constraining the supply of housing will raise the cost of housing.

          I’m not sure what you mean by “further constraining the supply”.

          This doesn’t seem to be any different than promoting market-based solutions.

          There is likely a limit to how much Davis housing prices can rise by – even if there’s not a single additional dwelling built.  It’s possible that this limit has essentially already been reached, or will actually rise as a result of new housing.  (That’s sort of what the article I posted discusses, and has also been cited as those who oppose developments such as Trackside.)

          Of course, all housing prices rise over the long term, regardless.

          I suspect that some of the students previously discussed (if they’re still around in a couple of years) will regret their associations/interactions with development interests.

        13. Ron Oertel

          I realize this is off-topic (and I won’t continue beyond this if there’s no response), but one might wonder if the Cannery had any impact on the cost of pre-existing housing – either up or down.

          (I’m probably still a little worked up from the multitude of responses from the school district “right-sizing” article that you wrote in response to my earlier comments. Now that was a lot of work.)

          How about if we “make a deal”, in which you end your one-sided, repetitive advocacy (starting tomorrow), and I cease from repetitively responding? 😉

    2. Ron Oertel

      Here’s another one:  The school district article itself (and virtually all the comments) were directed at me.  And, kept making the same non-existent “arguments”, over-and-over.

      For what it’s worth, I wasn’t referring to you in my 6:26 p.m. comment, above.

      But yeah, I’m off to a “good start” in this one as well! (My apologies for feeling somewhat less-cooperative that I used to be, on here.)

      1. Ron Oertel

        It is challenging to remain on here, when the vast majority of commenters are either development activists, or just plain don’t like slow-growth views.

        [edited]

      2. Ron Glick

        Actually, I appreciated that other article on the schools with the 144 comments, almost half being attributed to you. It provided the supporters the opportunity to make the case for the parcel tax proposal including a deep dive into school financing. Your continued argumentative posts brought out comments from a number of community members who are deeply committed to the success of the Davis schools, most of whom are home owners who will pay full freight on parcel taxes.

        Now as to the roads versus the parcel taxes for education. Almost every school parcel tax has passed. The road tax failed narrowly. I think it does say something about the priorities of this community, that we value our schools and the services they provide. I believe this prioritization of education is something we should take pride in.

      3. Ron Oertel

        Glad that you enjoyed it, but there was no “deep dive” into the finances of the over-sized district.  There were some unsupported numbers tossed about.  Interestingly enough, those defending the current school system seemed to be the same ones who generally support a lot of development (with the exception of Mark, who did bring up some concerns).

        David is going to “take turns” hammering away at school funding, road conditions, unfunded pensions – and the benefits of ARC going forward.  It doesn’t take a lot of math skills (or imagination) to see what he’s trying to make “add up”.

        And, you’ll continue making similar arguments, but in an even more obvious way.

        [edited]
         

    3. Bill Marshall

      Semi-side-bar:  I support the compensation increases for DJUSD folk (and is not “just” the teachers)… but I still have strong concerns as to the ‘exemptions’ that can be claimed… I have sent e-mails to each of the Board members (about a week ago) to have them explain the rationale/justification for those… “crickets”…

      We (3 voters) are currently slightly inclined to vote “no” until we’ve seen reasonable rationale/justification… it’s the principle of the thing… not the $$$.

      If I vote “yes” and/or it passes, we’re going to take all our “senior exemptions”… and if they can be “charitable contributions” we are likely to donate the same funds to DJUSD… we support the purpose, but not the language of the measure… and the precedents it sets…

      The proposed assessment is no “skins off our nose”, and I suspect it would not be for many seniors (even on ‘fixed income’ — ours is basically ‘fixed’), and likely not for most DJUSD employees who live in town.

      Comparing the proposed measure to road maintenance needs, is at best “silly” (I’d use far stronger terms, but there’d probably be a complaint, and this post would end up in the ‘bit bucket’).
       

      1. Bill Marshall

        Oh… as I said on another thread, we are more than ‘topped’ out due to the 2017 SALT deduction stuff… we’d rather add our Fed tax savings (by doing charitable deductions) than just passing the $$$ to the Feds… again, it’s not about the $$ the measure would cost, nor the support for the purpose.  It’s just being ‘tax savvy’, as to the exemptions/deductions…

        Our VOTES will be based on the Board’s explanations, rationale, justifications as to the exemptions in the proposed measure.

      2. Ron Oertel

        Comparing the proposed measure to road maintenance needs, is at best “silly” (I’d use far stronger terms, but there’d probably be a complaint, and this post would end up in the ‘bit bucket’).

        Parcel taxes have been proposed for both.  Yeah, how “silly” to note that connection.

        1. David Greenwald

          It is a little silly because they are put forward by completely different entities. Moreover there isn’t a current roads parcel tax while there is a schools one.

      3. Ron Oertel

        It would be “silly” to assume that the city (or the school district, for that matter) is “done” with parcel tax proposals.

        That probability would imply a need to “prioritize choices” among voters.

  5. Ron Glick

    “When I first got involved in the world of Davis politics, we had just come off two decades of rapid growth, we almost immediately headed into a real estate crunch and the great recession caused UC Davis to stop growing for five to ten years.”

    You left out the part about the West Davis homeowners who sued UC Davis and how it slowed down UCD for years.

    When I was younger I would ride on the Russell bike path everyday after work. The last time I rode there it was completely falling apart. I don’t think a penny has been put into it in 30 years. So much for no growth.

    1. Alan Miller

      yeah, that bike path is a DAVIS SHAME.  I say a self-imposed ban on awards from stupid organizations on how great Davis’ bike infrastructure is, until we fix that path, and upgrade the asphalt citywide to above tire-catching crack status.

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